Striking is not something we want to be doing, nor something we enjoy. It is a last resort to fight the imposition of the unsafe and unfair contract the government are forcing on Junior Doctors. The strikes of the past two days have been more serious as a full walk has occurred. Prior to striking, we were satisfied that steps have been put in place for our consultant colleagues to provide more than adequate emergency cover, with many wards having more doctors than present on a normal day. We are truly sorry for those who have had elective appointments delayed, but believe this action is necessary for the long term safety of patients, doctors and the NHS.
The government’s manifesto promise that they are using to justify imposing this unsafe and unfair contract says the will provide a “Truly seven day NHS” “with hospitals properly staffed so the quality of care is the same every day of the week”. We, and the entirety of the NHS staff want this too, but this contract will not provide safe, good quality staffing. For that we need more staff and more resources, not stretching the existing few to do more and more, becoming increasingly exhausted.
Choir members picketed outside their own places of work during the strike hours. On Tuesday, the London members not on emergency on-call cover after 5pm, congregated at St Thomas’ and took part in the evening march to the Department of Health. They performed ‘Yours’ for the crowd on the stage and met a few famous supporters of our cause.
Through out the country the public support to doctors on the pickets and running Meet The Doctors events in towns has been overwhelming. Thank you to all who signed letters, bought us coffee and cake, and for the beeps and kind words. We truly hope the government start listening and we win our fight to keep the #NHSyours.